Patriation and Its Consequences
356 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Feb 2016
Release Date:15 Jun 2015
Release Date:17 Jun 2015
Release Date:17 Jun 2015

Patriation and Its Consequences

Constitution Making in Canada

UBC Press
Few moments in Canadian history are as intriguing as the “patriation” of Canada’s constitution from Britain. Over the years, the tale of the political battle between Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the “Gang of Eight” provincial premiers opposing his patriation plans has developed mythical status. Constitutional lore suggests Canadians would not have a patriated constitution or entrenched the Charter of Rights and Freedoms if not for some last-minute negotiations that took place in a hotel kitchen the night of 4 November 1981 – a night Quebec Premier René Lévesque famously described as the “Night of the Long Knives,” when his seven provincial allies deserted him. In an effort to look beyond this familiar narrative, Patriation and Its Consequences: Constitution Making in Canada revisits these negotiations and the personalities, visions, and struggles that shaped the resulting constitutional agreement. Offering fresh perspectives on the politics of this key moment in Canadian history, it focuses on the players behind the patriation process, including First Nations and feminist activists, who helped shape Canada’s new constitution. This volume also examines the long shadow of patriation, including the alienation of Quebec, the character of Canadian federalism, Indigenous constitutionalism and Aboriginal treaty rights, and the struggle to ensure gender equality rights in Canada.

This original volume will appeal to students and scholars of political science, law, and Canadian legal history, as well as to lawyers, journalists, and politics aficionados.

Offering expert and often insider accounts of the different groups, issues, and events involved in the 1982 patriation, the contributors to this volume provide fascinating analyses that any fan of constitutional stories and development will appreciate. Margot Young, co-editor of Poverty: Rights, Social Citizenship, and Legal Activism
[A]n interesting and engaging collection … Readers will encounter a rich set of different ideas on patriation and its complexities. Decades later, there are new things to be said about patriation, and these authors have offered a lot of new thoughts Dwight Newman, Review of Constitutional Studies
This book takes us behind the scenes of the negotiations that lead to the patriation of the Canadian constitution. Its authors take a hard look at the aftermath, intended and unintended, of the Canada Act and the Charter of Rights that it enshrined, and ask crucially important questions for Canadian politics. Reg Whitaker, co-author of Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada from the Fenians to Fortress America

Lois Harder is a professor of political science at the University of Alberta. Her current research focuses on the law and politics of Canadian citizenship. She is the co-editor (with Steve Patten) of The Chrétien Legacy: Politics and Public Policy in Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006). In 2008, she held a Fulbright Visiting Professorship at the University of Hawai'i; and in September 2014, she was the Eccles Centre Visiting Canadian Fellow in North American Studies at the British Library. She is currently writing a book on the birthright citizenship claims of the “Lost Canadians.”

Steve Patten is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. His recent publications include “The Triumph of Neoliberalism within Partisan Conservatism in Canada” in Conservatism in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2013) and “The Politics of Alberta’s One-Party State” in Transforming Provincial Politics: The Political Economy of Canada’s Provinces and Territories in a Neoliberal Era (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming). With Lois Harder, he edited The Chrétien Legacy: Politics and Public Policy in Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006). Dr. Patten serves on the editorial board of the Review of Constitutional Studies.

Part 1: Introduction: The Significance of Constitution Making

1 Looking Back on Patriation and Its Consequences / Lois Harder and Steve Patten

2 Constituting Constitutions: The Patriation Moment / Janine Brodie

Part 2: Tracing the Long Road to Patriation

3 Constitutional Nationalism: Politics, Law, and Culture on the Road to Patriation / Eric M. Adams

4 The Evolution of the Charter / Barry L. Strayer

5 The Rise of Spectator Constitutionalism, 1967-81 / P.E. Bryden

Part 3: Shaping Patriation: Law, Political Vision, Political Actors, and Political Struggle

6 Law, Politics, and the Patriation Reference of 1981 / Philip Girard

7 The Judiciary in Trudeau’s Constitutional Vision: Intellectual Trajectory and Origins of the Charter / David Schneiderman

8 More Distress than Enchantment: The Constitutional Negotiations of November 1981 Seen from Quebec / Guy Laforest and Rosalie Readman

9 Tracking Justice: The Constitution Express to Section 35 and Beyond / Louise Mandell and Leslie Hall Pinder

10 “28 – Helluva Lot to Lose in 27 Days”: The Ad Hoc Committee and Women’s Constitutional Activism in the Era of Patriation / Marilou McPhedran, Judith Erola, and Loren Braul

Part 4: The Political and Constitutional Consequences of Patriation

11 Patriation and the Law of Unintended Consequences / Peter Russell

12 Canadian Federalism since Patriation: Advancing a Federalism of Empowerment / Alain-G. Gagnon and Alex Schwartz

13 An Indigenous Constitutional Paradox: Both Monumental Achievement and Monumental Defeat / Kiera Ladner

14 The Sad but True Story of a Shrinking Equality Opportunity Structure / Alexandra Dobrowolsky

List of Contributors; Index

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